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Old 12-13-2005, 12:31 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Looking To Build My Own Computer And I Need Your Help

Hey guys! Just registered here and hope to learn a lot more about computers than I already know. A little bit about me: I’m a 17-year old student at a vocational school in Rhode Island. I’m in my 3rd year in the Computer Technology program, so as you can see I have some pretty good experience with computers. Recently my class has put together a rather decent computer and seeing as my current computer is old, out of date, slow, and annoying; I’m looking into building one for myself. The real problem for me lately is I can’t multitask worth of crap.

Now I know the kind of computer I build depends on my needs and what I will be doing but in all honesty, I’m not even sure exactly what it will be used for. I’m not an avid gamer, I do most of my time on the computer reading cell phone forums, (another hobby of mine) and downloading games and movies via torrents. Another thing I do mostly is burn DVD, whether it is a direct DVD to DVD copy or making my own off the video files I download. So basically I need something good and fast for video encoding. I want something decent for graphics and gaming because I might start playing World of Warcraft with a few friends of mine and maybe try a few other games; I’m more of a console gamer if anything. Also, I want a good motherboard incase I upgrade either my CPU or RAM later on down the line.

Right now I’m working on a Dell Dimension 4300. It has an Intel P4 1.8GHz 640MB of RAM, 40GB HD master, 250GB HD slave, 16x DVD Burner, 24x CD-RW Burner, and a nVidia GeForce 3 64MB video card.

I’m really trying to keep the cost anything less than $700, $800 at most, but I know my demands might be a little high for such a low price. I’ve done a little research and price checking around various sites such as newegg, tigerdirect, & eBay. But I still have a few questions on which CUP and video card will fit my needs.

As of now, I’m looking into getting:
AMD Athlon 64 3800+ / 512KB Cache / 2000 MHz FSB / Socket 939 / Processor with Fan

Biostar NF4ST-A9 NVIDIA Socket 939 ATX Motherboard / Audio / PCI Express / Gigabit LAN / USB 2.0 / Serial ATA / RAID

Xmdia GeForce 6600 LE / 256MB DDR / PCI Express / SLI / DVI / VGA / TV-Out / Video Card

I have no idea what brand to get for memory, but I know that I want at least 1GB. Would it be cheaper to go with 2 512MB cards or get 1 1GB card? I'm going to be using the 250GB HD in my current computer in the one I build as well as the 16x DVD burner. The case, power supply, and others I will deal with at another time.

Here was my real question: AMD Athlon or Intel Pentium 4? Which would be better for my video encoding and minimal gaming? I’m sure anything is an upgrade from my current computer but I don’t want to spend the money on the AMD if the P4 is better. And is it true that the 3700+ of an AMD is about as fast a P4 3.4GHz? If so, why does it say 2.2GHz for the AMD processor? Also, how are the dual-core processors? Are they worth it for the video encoding or should I be fine with the regular processor? I know I could always upgrade to the dual-core with the BioStar motherboard if I wanted.

I know this is a really long post; I appreciate all the help I can get to build this computer and understand more about computers in general. Any information or personal experience with anything I mentioned would be great. Thanks a lot guys!
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Old 12-13-2005, 01:09 AM   #2 (permalink)
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First of all, no it is not true that an AMD 3700+ is as fast as a 3.4 GHz Intel. The AMD 3700+ is faster.

AMD chips have a slower clock speed but do more per clock cycle, which is why they outperform the Intels.

Think of it like an engine (and I do hope you know a little something about cars for this anaolgy)... if you have a Ford Focus doing 6000 RPM, it's still not going to get going as fast as a Porsche at the same number of RPMs, because the Porsche has a much, much larger engine, which generates way more horsepower (and therefore speed). Hell, the Porsche could probably go faster than the Focus at 3000 RPM.

AMDs are the Porsche and Intels are the Ford...

You mention movies, so I assume we're talking pirated movies and I assume you're talking about DivX/XviD/xVCD type encoding here, with the Doom9 (et al) tool lineup (such as GKnot, Vdub, Nandub, etc), you'll definitely need a higher end processor and a whole load of RAM. Though, actually, video editting (and this type of video encoding in particular) is a little strange.... in that performance is more heavily impacted by processor performance than memory performance on a typical system. So if this is what you plan to be doing primarily with your new build, you should spend more money on the processor (and scrimp on the RAM, if you must for budget reasons). For fast video encoding, you're definitely going to need either a dual core AMD or a hyperthreading Intel. I recomend the AMDs - more performance, less price than an Intel.

RAM is a little more flexible... you can get away with the standard 1 GB, and buy the cheap stuff which doesn't perform as well, because it doesn't matter so much for video encoding... but if you get into gaming, you might notice the cheaper RAM too.

The 6600 video card will certainly be good enough for occasional gaming, and should be able to handle even the newer FPS games out there, so no problem there either.

(If, on the other hand, you use one of those lame "one click" type VCD creation programs, save your money and just do a few minor upgrades to the computer you have now - encoding is gonna take a long time and look like garbage with those programs no matter what your PC specs are.)

I think your biggest problem is going to be getting a fast enough processor and Mobo combo to do your encoding with and still stay under budget. The cheapest dual core out there is the AMD 64x2 3800+, and that's a little over 300, just for the processor. It'll be a tight squeeze to stay under $800 for everything.
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Old 12-13-2005, 05:55 AM   #3 (permalink)
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ok first of all lol this is quite funny (CitizenCain) is very wrong the 6600 LE will do just about as much as a *** hole on my ellbow will
and second of all the amd 3800 is much faster than the 3.4ghz P4 HT and also if your getting itleast 1gb of memory make sure its two sticks of 512mb so you will be getting dual channel all tho i would recommend 2x1gb, then youll be sure to run all the games at highsettings with no memory lag. and please itleast get a 6600gt/or 6800 but (do not get the LE) i belive that stands for laggy edition, and we were mistaken for limited edition, and for some reason the only thing limited about the 6600LE is the frame rates we recieve.

these items i listed here should be a much better choice and you should perform better for even cheaper lol

(amd 64 3800) http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16819103531

(6600GT kills the LE!!) http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16814150098

(MSI MOTHERBOARD) http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16813130491

(1gb dual channel memory) http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16820220037


now 93.9 precent of the time you do not want to go with tigerdirect. if you do notice your cpu is 16 dollars cheaper with free shipping. (tiger has bad deals!)
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Old 12-13-2005, 06:27 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by burned-ati
ok first of all lol this is quite funny (CitizenCain) is very wrong the 6600 LE will do just about as much as a *** hole on my ellbow will
that was a useless comment.
of course the LE isn't as good. it's not meant to be. it's a cheaper version of the 6600 GT.

I would possibly suggest a 6800 GS though.
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Old 12-13-2005, 08:41 AM   #5 (permalink)
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well if you notice hes not trying to drop alot of money on a video card, maybe 100-145, the 6800gs is 205$
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Old 12-13-2005, 12:33 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by burned-ati
ok first of all lol this is quite funny (CitizenCain) is very wrong the 6600 LE will do just about as much as a *** hole on my ellbow will

Right, so let's have the guy (who isn't a big gamer) spend one third of his budget on a video card... that way he'll have 50 bucks left to spend on a processor so that his computer really will be as useful as your little elbow *** hole.

The guy doesn't game - he browses cell phone forums and encodes movies. How useful is a video card for rendering cell phone forums and encoding movies? Well, as you put it, about as useful as an *** hole on your elbow.

He'd be much better served by getting a cheap video card to stay under budget and buying a more expensive processor, which he'll need to get his computer to do what he wants it to do.
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Old 12-13-2005, 03:09 PM   #7 (permalink)
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He should atleast get a 6600gt since that will soon be the minimum in pc gaming for newer and some older games. Its only like 145 bucks but is 125 after rebate. http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16814130214

Also that le is pretty bad and the gt is only 50 bucks more. I dont think 50 bucks more could help with a new cpu. I would just get a 3800 and 2gb of ram if possible. Add a 6600gt and youve got a great editing computer as well as a decent gaming computer. Trust me it would save you time and money in the long run.
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Old 12-13-2005, 04:07 PM   #8 (permalink)
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ASUS A8N-E ATX MoBo
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16813131530

AMD Athlon 64 X2 3800+
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16819103562

eVGA 256-P2-N386 Geforce 6800GS 256MB GDDR3 PCI Express x16
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16814130258

Antec SmartPower 2.0 SP-400 ATX12V 400W
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16817103935

CORSAIR ValueSelect 1GB (2 x 512MB)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16820145440

ANY $50 ATX CASE

That's about $750 without shipping and handling.

Use the Optical Drives & Hard Drvies from your Dell.
You could probably even use the memory if it's PC2700 or PC3200

BTW, you'll need an Operating system. So if 800 is your highest budget, use your DELL ram and pick up Windows XP Home - OEM.

That's it right there. Multitasking & Gaming wrapped up in a cheap little package.
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Old 12-13-2005, 06:22 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by Pepsiboy700
He should atleast get a 6600gt since that will soon be the minimum in pc gaming for newer and some older games. Its only like 145 bucks but is 125 after rebate. http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16814130214

Also that le is pretty bad and the gt is only 50 bucks more. I dont think 50 bucks more could help with a new cpu. I would just get a 3800 and 2gb of ram if possible. Add a 6600gt and youve got a great editing computer as well as a decent gaming computer. Trust me it would save you time and money in the long run.
yes for that EXACT grafix card, no for 2gb of ram, 1gb is plenty, spend ur savings on a better cpu lol
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Old 12-28-2005, 11:26 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Well after doing a little more searching and asking around, I'm going to go with a dual-core processor.

Right now I'm going to go with:

Processor:
AMD Athlon 64 X2 3800+

Motherboard:
GIGABYTE GA-K8N Pro-SLI Socket 939 NVIDIA nForce4 SLI ATX AMD Motherboard - Retail

Video Card:
eVGA Geforce 6800XT 256MB DDR PCI-E x16 Video Card

RAM:
CORSAIR ValueSelect 1GB (2 x 512MB) 184-Pin DDR SDRAM Dual Channel Kit System Memory

Case:
ASPIRE X-Dreamer II ATX Mid Tower W/ 420W Power Supply


The motherboard/CPU combo that I was going to get didn't match because the motherboard doesn't support AMD Athlon X2. I read that ASUS isn't that great for AMD's so I want to know what other brands are good for AMD's. Something under $110. Do you think my mobo I picked out good enough?

So far with all that, mouse, keyboard, speakers and shipping is $815.37. So that's just right around my price range. Let me know if my system seems ok before I order. I want to order by Friday so I can get this thing going. Thanks guys!
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